Like I have said before, it looks like Aizen isn’t as strong as he seemed. No doubt he is powerful, but not beyond the abilities Urahara, Yamamoto and Isshin. Aizen himself admitted that Urahara’s technique would probably had defeated him, if not for the Hougyoku. Even with a strong combined attack by Urahara, Isshin, and Yoruichi (I wonder if they planned it out before hand), Aizen remained pretty much completely unscathed. To me, it looks like the Hougyoku is the true villain here; Aizen doesn’t seem to be using his illusion abilities and so far he’s been relying on the white armor (which I thought was reminiscent of the KKK) to keep himself alive. With the protagonists enjoying numerical superiority, I’m sure they will put up a good fight, though Gin and Ichigo seem to just be standing around at the moment. This chapter was predictable for the most part, but with Yoruichi’s arrival, things should be getting more interesting; personally, I’m hoping to see some Bankais soon. Since the last panel shows Aizen’s sword seemingly fused with his armor, I’m guessing he will be showcasing some offensive abilities from the Hougyoku as well.
Note on the Hougyoku: we still don’t have any concrete answers on what the Hougyoku actually does and on why Aizen wastes so much time and resources on his plans. I’m willing to wait for now (since I’m sure Urahara knows more about the stone). Again, possible answers— it grants powers only, it has a will of its own, conflicting wishes are affected by various factors, etc. Maybe this whole thing will turn into one giant illusion… (Aizen: Just as planned from the very beginning!)